History & Culture

The fossils, rocks, hills, and valleys that make up Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument reveal to us an ancient story of redwood forests, volcanic eruptions, and a climate much different than today. In addition to a rich ancient history, the Florissant valley also contains the stories of prehistoric hunting and gathering Paleo-Indians, the Ute and Jicarilla Apache peoples, the travels of a pioneer nation, and of early scientists making their way through discovery into a different time.

1800s photo of pioneer woman Adeline Hornbek


People have visited what is now Florissant Fossil Beds for perhaps as long ago as 10,000 years. Over time, many different groups of people have been here including Native Americans, settlers, scientists, and tourists.

A historic homestead with wildflowers in the foreground
The Hornbek Homestead in summertime

NPS Photo: Lauren Rice


One of the most well preserved historic structures is the 1878 Hornbek Homestead. Take a virtual tour of the homestead on this page.
an older building, with a centralized sign saying Visitor Center


Florissant Fossil Beds' history spans almost a billion years! It all began with the formation of the Pikes Peak granite and the history runs all the way to the moment you arrive!

Last updated: December 2, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 185
Florissant, CO 80816


719 748-3253

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